Chinese border city talks tourism partnership with Myitkyina
OFFICIALS from a Chinese border city want to facilitate tourism growth for both countries through a multi-city, cross-border package.
Tengchong, in China’s Yunnan province, hosts about 7 million tourists each year.
City officials want to draw more potential visitors by cooperating with Kachin State’s Myitkyina township, which is situated about two hours from the border. In return, townships in Kachin State and beyond could see more Chinese tourists, as well as improved infrastructure, such as better-maintained roads.
“They want to have an arrangement to travel to Indaw township and the Myitsone region via Myitkyina township for two or three nights by car,” said U Win Htay, deputy chair of Mandalay Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry Association.
The Tengchong Trade Association first proposed the scheme and possible admission into those regions with representatives from the Kachin State Hluttaw, U Win Htay’s organisation and the Mandalay Yunnan Temple Kachin State Hluttaw Speaker representatives on September 29.
“The travellers only need to pass the Kan Pite Tee border gate. If their tourism business is good, our side will also get benefits,” U Win Htay said. “There are also many places to visit on their side.”
At the meeting, Chinese officials also discussed investing in the farming sector in Kachin State. Agreements were laid out about how long visitors could legally spend in the other country. They talked about ways to reduce border traffic and agreed to improve and maintain the key thoroughfare of the Myitkyina-Tengchong road.
Tourism has been on the rise in Tengchong – which has hot springs, recreational sites, and is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – since 2005. Kachin State Hluttaw Speaker U Tun Tin said that he submitted a letter to the state government about the Tengchong tourism proposal. He noted, however, that due to current security concerns related to ongoing fighting between the Tatmadaw and the Kachin Independence Army the plan may not be able to get under way immediately.
“They said they want to hold a goods exhibition here, in Manaw field. But I told them it is impossible at the moment under regional security grounds,” he said. “They also submitted a letter to state government about improving the transportation and the Tengchong-Myitkyina road. But at the moment, they cannot travel the road freely as they want to. They asked us for permission to extend their banana farming in Myitkyina. But we cannot make a decision about that. It’s up to the state government.”
– Translation by Win Thaw Tar
‘It is impossible at the moment under regional security grounds.’
U Tun Tin